Ramlibacter tataouinensis NEUF2011

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Ramlibacter tataouinensis NEUF2011

Classification

Higher order taxa

Domain; Phylum; Class; Order; family [Others may be used. Use NCBI link to find]

NEUF2011

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Betaproteobacteria; Burkholderiales; Comamonadaceae; Ramlibacter; tataouinensis

Species

NCBI: Taxonomy

Genus species

Ramlibacter tataouinensis

Description and significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why you think it is important.

R. tataouinensis was first isolated from South Tunisia in a semi-arid region. It is a pleomorphic gram-negative betaproteobacterium with both rod-shaped and spherical cells in pure culture. It is unique in that its spherical cyst-like cells are very tolerant of desiccation and are capable of division by binary fission while its rod-shaped cells are motile and able to form colonies in new environments by reverting back to desiccation-resistant spherical cells. This enables them to survive and migrate in dry desert environments.

Genome structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence?


The genome of Ramlibacter tataouinensis is composed of a singular circular chromosome that is 4,070,194 base pairs with a guanine and cytosine content of seventy percent, among the highest of proteobacteria. Additionally, the average gene length is 964 base pairs. R. tataouinensis has genetic characterstics that greatly resemble those of aerobic chemo-organotrophic bacterial strain. Furthermore, this strain, R. tataouinensis TTB310 contains genes that encode for proteins to protect the organism against toxicity of reactive oxygen species. It is the first to reveal the kaiC gene that is rarely found within non-photosynthetic bacteria. The gene functions similarly to photosynthetic bacteria by allowing the organism to create an internal molecular clock to coordinate its cell cycle based on the availability of water found in dry and hot desert environments. (Gilles, 2011)

Cell structure and metabolism

Interesting features of cell structure; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Ecology

Habitat; symbiosis; contributions to the environment.

Ramlibacter tataouinensis was first isolated in the Tatauoine meteorite in the desert of South Tunisia and is now known as the desert bacterium due to its unique cell cyle (Atomique, 2011)[5]. Desert habitats are considered one of the most extreme environments for microbial organisms because of the scarcity of water. Due to little rain and large variations in temperature, mineral content, and high levels of UV radiation desert microbes need to be highly adapted for the extreme environment. Ramlibacter tataouinensis survives in this habitat through desiccation and division into motile rods (G De Luca, 2011)[6].

Other research on Ramlibacter tataouinensis has shown that bacteria can have circadian rhythms. This was discovered when researchers altered the times and amounts of UV radiation. This “circadian rhythm” was given by gene kaiC which governs a molecular clock mechanism which alters cell cycle based on day and night. This is called an endogenous circadian rhythm. [5]

Pathology

How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Ramlibacter tataouinensis is not a pathogenic organism and no research has shown Ramlibacter tataouinensis to exist in any organism.

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required

Current research on Ramlibacter tataouinensis revolves around its ability to survive in extreme desert conditions where water, minerals, and extreme UV radiation are all worries for microbial growth. Ongoing research has been done on its cell cycle which consists of two stages where it can be non-motile and then as desiccation resistant cysts. Ramlibacter tataouinensis blocks its cell cycle in the cyst production stage during the morning in order to protect itself from extreme heat and dryness. The second cycle activates during the night when the temperature drops and dew can form. Research on how Ramlibacter tataouinensis survives in desert conditions has shed light on how cell cycles in bacteria can reflect its molecular clock. [5]

Other research on Ramlibacter tataouinensis has shown that bacteria can have circadian rhythms. This was discovered when researchers altered the times and amounts of UV radiation. This “circadian rhythm” was given by gene kaiC which governs a molecular clock mechanism which alters cell cycle based on day and night. This is called an endogenous circadian rhythm. [6]

Research is also being done on Ramlibacter tataouinensis’s circadian rhythm with respect to their fossilization. Due to the organisms affinity for minerals, when Ramlibacter tataouinensis is fossilized, researchers hope to be able to use crystallography and calcium and phosphorus ratios to determine temperature cycles in the search of past life on earth. [4]

Cool Factor

Describe something you fing "cool" about this microbe.

References

[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

[1] Gommeauxa, M., Barakata, M., Lesourdb, M., Thiérya, J., Heulin, T. "A morphological transition in the pleomorphic bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310". Research in Microbiology. 2005. Volume 156(10). p. 1026-1030.

[2] Heulin, T., Barakat, M., Christen, R., Lesourd, M., Sutra, L., De Luca, G., Achouak, W. "Ramlibacter tataouinensis gen. nov., sp. nov., and Ramlibacter henchirensis sp. nov., cyst-producing bacteria isolated from subdesert soil in Tunisia". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2003. Volume 53. p. 589–594.

[3] De Luca, G., Barakat, M., Ortet, P., Fochesato, S., Jourlin-Castelli, C., et al. "The Cyst-Dividing Bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 Genome Reveals a Well-Stocked Toolbox for Adaptation to a Desert Environment". PLoS ONE. 2011. Volume 6(9): e23784.

[4] Karim Benzerara, N. M., Francois Guyot, Feriel Skouri, Gilles de Luca, Mohamed Barakat, Thierry Heulin. (2004). Biologically controlled precipitation of calcium phosphate by Ramlibacter tataouinensis. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 228(3-4), 10.

[5] Atomique, C. a. l. E. (2011). Adaptation secrets of the 'desert bacterium'. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906092623.htm

[6] G De Luca, M. B., P Ortet, S Fochesato, C Jourlin-Castelli, M Ansaldi, B Py. (2011). The Cyst-Dividing Bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 Genome Reveals a Well-Stocked Toolbox for Adaptation to a Desert Environment. Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucleaires, 6(9).


Edited by Maria Castano, Alexandra Tsolias, Rebecca Thibault, and Kevin Wu (students of Iris Keren)